Today we will cover the first postpostions: 가 (Ka) and 이 (i).
What are postpositions?
Postpositions are used to define the case of a noun, or the grammatical relation between the words. Postpositions do not exist in the English language so this will be a abstract description.
가 (Ka) and 이 (i):
Both these postpositions are used to define the subject in the sentence. Just glue it to the end of a noun and you are all set. The difference between the two is defined by the ending of noun – note that you would use 가 (Ka) without a batchim, and 이 (i) when there is a batchim :
For the geeks in the front raising their hands: There is never a space between postpositions and the attached word.
- 저기가 우체국입니다. (jeogiga uchegug-ibnida) – There is the post office.
저기 (There) is marked with 가 (ka) to make it into a subject. In this case it’s 가 (ka) because the character in front doesn’t contain a batchim.
- 이름이 뭐에요? (ileum-i mwo-eyo?) – What’s your name?
이름 (Name) is marked with (이) i to make it into a subject. In this case it’s 이 (i) because the character in front does contain a batchim.
(subject in red, predicate in purple, copulate in orange)
With all the logic in place, I think it just sounds better too. The sentence ‘rolls’ more don’t you think? Without it, it wouldn’t sound smooth: 이름 뭐에요 (ileummwo-eyo?), instead of 이름이 뭐에요 (ileum-i mwo-eyo). Furthermore, saying (ileum-ka mwo-eyo?) would just sound silly so don’t get me started!
Main take away: Stick a ‘KA’ behind if there isn’t a batchim, use a good old ‘I’ if there is!